I was with my family in the grounds of a beautiful stately home.
As we headed towards the lake, I spotted a group of ducks.
So I pointed them out to my niece.
“Look at the ducks.”
She looked at them.
She looked up at me.
Then, with all the wisdom of a four-going-on-forty year old, she rolled her eyes slightly and said,
“They are actually geese.”
And you know what?
She was right.
I just hadn’t bothered to look properly.
I’d seen beaks and feathers and simply assumed.
Perhaps bizarrely, I was reminded of maths.
Way back when I was at school, maths was easily my worst subject.
I hated it.
Time and time again, my work would be handed back to me with big, red crosses all over it.
X X X X X X X X X
Crosses which were, invariably, accompanied by the comment:
Check your working out!
Basically, the reason I got the answers wrong was because I hadn’t taken time to go through the steps of working them out.
Just as I had not taken time to look at the ‘ducks’ properly.
I’d earned the X X X X X X which the eye roll from my niece had awarded me.
Later, as I thought about the ducks that were actually geese, I wondered what else I miss out on because I don’t take time to look properly?
What about people….
When we meet people, whether for the first or the fiftieth time, perhaps we see the equivalent of beaks and feathers (call it arms and legs) and stop looking.
So we get it/them wrong.
Earning ourselves X X X X X X
Or perhaps we could take time to get to know people instead?
To appreciate that an initial assumption may not be the sum of the whole.
To realise that the human race is made up of individuals, not clones.
Individuals with their own hopes, thoughts, talents, opinions, perspectives….all of which can easily go unnoticed because, in the busyness of life,
Which means that we start missing out.
‘The things that make me different are the things that make me me.’ Winnie-the-Pooh
Me is important.
Every me out there.
And there are a lot.
As many as there are people, in fact.
Including the me you are.
We are all different, and that’s ok.
Try noticing the things that make the ‘me’ in people around you.
It may take time, but it’s worth it.
Just as taking time is worth it in maths if you want to get the answer correct.
Noticing the ‘me’ will make X X X redundant.
Because everyone will be seen for who they really are, not who they are assumed to be.
And we’ll stop missing out on people.
Which will, I think, actually be rather nice.